Archive | October, 2014

I Can’t………

30 Oct

When I hear someone say ‘I can’t’ I instantly think of my father and growing up. Whenever I told my dad ‘I can’t’ he would tell me there is no such word in the dictionary. To prove his point he would give me a dictionary and ask to me find ‘can’t’. If you check an old dictionary you will see he was correct. There was no such word in the dictionary. He would then say to me ‘either you don’t want to do it or you don’t know how to. Which is it?’

Initially, I would say ‘I didn’t want to do it’. That didn’t work. I was told to go and do the task. Later, I tried ‘I don’t know how to do it’. Then, he would help me and we’d do the task together. There was just no way of getting out of it.

Now, as I look back, I think what fantastic training I was receiving. I was constantly being taught the ‘Can Do’ attitude.

My life as an investor has been about using ‘Can Do’ when everyone around says ‘You Can’t’.

When I started investing in property there was no such thing as a buy-to-let mortgage. The bank would only lend to someone who was working. I was self-employed. So, I got a job and qualified for a mortgage. My husband did the same, got a job and qualified for his mortgage. We now had 2 rental properties.

The next hurdle was we could only have 5 properties. We enquired whether we could do separate applications to get around this policy. The bank agreed and my husband got 5 properties in his name and I got 5 properties in my name.

When buy-to-let mortgages became easily available our property portfolios grew quickly. But we weren’t over all the hurdles yet. My husband was no longer working as he was concentrating full time on the property portfolio. I kept working so we could prove another source of income which was still required for a buy-to-let mortgage. However, I was made redundant and the company went into administration. After some discussion with the directors and administrators I put up the money to buy the company out of administration. The old directors were reappointed in the new company. I was given back my old job. Now I was employed again I merrily continued buying rental properties for another two years before the company went into administration again. This time the market had changed and I was able to continue buying rental properties without the need for a job.

When I talk about investing in property I frequently hear ‘you can’t do that’ and I remember the words my dad would say. ‘There’s no such word as can’t’. What I’m hearing is someone who is really saying I don’t know how to invest in property or I simply don’t want to invest in property.

If you are someone who wants to become an investor remember, there is always a way, you just have to find it.


Little Steps ……

14 Oct

It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years this October since that fateful day which changed my life forever.

Living in New Zealand, I worked for a local bank and my husband had, just a couple of weeks earlier, started his second business. My husband’s hobby was racing cars and mine was playing pro-am tennis.

That fateful morning my husband was ill, couldn’t walk or move his arms. A visit from the doctor and we discovered there was a virus going around. He had it. Nothing he could do but wait for the recovery. According to the doctor it would be about 10 days. At my husband’s insistence, I wrapped him up on the sofa with food and drink supplies and went to work.

I left work at the usual time for the drive home. Turned a corner and saw a flash of light. Next thing I remember is waking up in hospital with spinal and leg injuries. The flash of light was a car going through a stop sign and hitting me. After several operations I was told I wouldn’t walk again without aides. But that wasn’t acceptable to me. I brought in a team of people all focussed on one thing. Get me walking again.

For the next year I spent 5 minutes every hour learning to walk. The time was gradually increased to 10 minutes, 15 minutes and then 20 minutes etc. The second year the same process of 5 minutes an hour with increments as I progressed was used to until I mastered getting up and down steps. It took another 5 years before I got back on a tennis court.

So, what does this story have to do with investing?

It was during my recovery time that my husband and I starting using the ‘little steps’ process in our investing and business. Starting with nothing we built several businesses and had large share investment portfolio. All achieved just by taking little steps each day with our business and our investments. It is something we still apply today.

So when I hear someone say they don’t have enough time I smile to myself. All they need is 5 minutes a day to start an investment or a business. What could they achieve over 12 months of applying little steps?

When I hear someone saying they don’t have enough money I smile to myself. All they need is to set aside £2.73 a day and they could become a millionaire (see earlier articles) or £1 to start an investment.

What I actually see and hear is someone who has no confidence in themselves and no motivation to go after what’s important to them. If they had been in my situation, all those years ago, would they have given up straight away and been content with a life in a wheelchair or would they have taken every little opportunity available to learn to walk again?

So next time you are faced with a decision will you take the easy route and give up or will you take little steps and achieve a lot?

Are You The Next Billionaire?

2 Oct

What do the richest people in the world have in common?

1. Carlos Sim Helu – Supplies telephones and mobiles to Latin America
2. Bill Gates – Co-founder of Microsoft computers and software
3. Warren Buffett – Share Investor and major shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway
4. Liliane Bettencourt – L’Oreal Cosmetics
5. George Soros – Financier and Forex

If you look at how they made their money each of them is different. They have all found their niche market and turned it into a profitable business venture.

What is a Niche Market?

Golf is a sport played by many people. Some are good players, some not so good. If someone developed a product which guaranteed to improve the golfer’s swing there would probably be a large demand for the product. Improving the golfer’s swing is a ‘niche’ market within the game of golf. Other niches might be 1930’s golfing trousers, waterproof golf shoes, own brand golf bags, etc.

Every topic you can think of has a niche. Currently, our daughter thinks she can teach our dog to talk. Everyday she practises with him and he patiently sits there, ears up and head tilting, while she goes through all the different sounds she can think of. However, if she were successful, I’m sure there would be a niche market for ‘Teach Your Dog To Talk’ books, videos and cd’s.

What’s Your Niche?

We each have something we are knowledgeable about, passionate about and downright good at. If you have some specific knowledge there is someone out there waiting for that information and who is willing to pay for it. All you have to do is find a way to package your information and then let potential customers know all about your product.

My niche is helping to create tomorrow’s millionaires.

So, what is your niche?

What is that one thing you are really good at?

Are you ready to take that step and become the next Billionaire?

Karen is the author of Niche – how to increase your income through niche marketing.